Guidance on How to Seek Refund on VAT on Goods
As this page is not written by lawyers, the information contained in it is only useful as guidance. Hence, we disclaim any liability for error, omission, direct or indirect damage arising from the use of the information contained in it.
IVA (VAT), ranging from 16% to 20 % , is refundable if some conditions are fulfilled.
1- The purchase has to be for €154.94 or over for reimbursement to be claimed.
2- Purchase is made at only one shop.
3- Getting a Tax Refund receipt (bill of entry) stamped at the shop the claimer purchased.
If the shop participates in the Tax Free Italy program (check out they have the Euro Tax Freesign), present your passport when paying for the shop assistant to issue a Tax Free Shopping Cheque and a receipt for your purchase. You will have to pay the tax; however, you will have the right to refund later on thanks to the Tax Free Shopping Cheque. The Italian Customs office or the last European Customs office on leaving the European Union are the two points where to claim your refund. Be prepared to show goods and the bill of entry where you choose to claim for the VAT paid. The Customs officers will inspect them, therefore they both have to be prepared whether they are in your unaccompanied luggage or your hand luggage. In the first case make them control before checking in for a destination outside the EU. In the second case they can be inspected after passport control. After inspection if everything is right your Tax Refund form will be stamped.
These Tax Refund forms entitle you to refund by different means:
1) receiving cash at an airport’s ETS desk;
2) exchanging the tax equivalent amounts for Tax-Free Shopping Cheques by post;
3) getting a credit card account transfer.
All these steps take time, hence be ready to wait on the procedure to finish.
There is apossibility of getting refund in cash in town before Customs. However, your credit card will be your guarantee. Watch out¡¡ there is a cmission if the form is not stamped.
If the shop does not participate in the Tax Free Italy scheme ask for an invoice, the fattura in Italy. It will have to have the phrase Esente IVA ai sensi della legge 38 quarter and the VAT charged on it. Both the fattura and the goods purchased will have to be produced and stamped at Customs the moment you depart from Italy. Once in your home country the fattura has to be posted before the 90 days after you made the purchase. On receiving it the shop will (possibly ) refund the VAT by return of mail. Note that this is possible by law.
If the goods are shipped to your home country the VAT is not part of the price. The shop where the purchase is made issues a Tax-free receipt. Beware the shop relies on the tax refund companies to do the extra job. Note that it is only lawfully possible.
The Italian tax refund website can provide more information on the subject:
http://www.taxrefund.it can also offer further explanation and office addresses.